December 12, 2011

Quick Corn Chowder

It's that dreaded time of year again.  The season of sickness is here. My husband has been whining.. er sick for almost a week now.  I've done all I can to take care of him and shadow his every germ-ridden move to sterilize anything he touches.  It may seem ridiculous but so worth it to me.  There is no time for me to be sick and rundown.  There's this little thing called Christmas around the corner and we're flying to Seattle.  My Christmas wish is to NOT get sick.  Help me Santa!

I finally broke down and decided to make homemade soup to try and cure his sickness but kept it simple with what I had on hand and improvised where I needed.  After many minutes of staring in the pantry and fridge and creating recipes in my head, I had an idea and started pulling ingredients together to whip up my own version of Corn Chowder. 

I didn't have bacon or onions on hand which definitely gives this soup a lot of delicious flavor.  I was a little hesitant that the end result would be stellar because of the lack of 2 essentials that I'm use to.  However, in my favor, his tastes buds were out of whack so I knew he wouldn't be able to taste the difference.  Although it would bother me just knowing it didn't taste right. 

To replace the bacon, I used a bit of this amazing concoction called Bacon Jam we received as a gift made by Skillet Street Food.  Get some!  It definitely gave the chowder it's expected and necessary smokey flavor.  We were quite pleased with the soup over all.  This spread is yummy on toast.  (** I've used it to make BLT Crostinis which are perfect for brunch or an appetizer.  Toasted French Bread rounds, a dollop of the bacon jam, a small leaf of lettuce, half a cherry tomato and sprinkle of salt) 

If you have bacon I'd use at least 3 strips of cooked bacon crumbled up.  Use more if you fancy the bacon!  I liked the small kick of heat from the red pepper flakes and it helped clear his sinuses too.   Feel free to use more or less depending on your heat tolerance.

2 tbsp unsalted butter
1-16oz bag frozen corn
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp bacon jam (or at least 3 bacon strips crumbled)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
4 c chicken broth
1 c. water
1/2 c heavy whipped cream

In a large pot, over medium-high heat melt the butter then add in the corn.  Saute for about 5 minutes or until corn begins to defrost.  Add the thyme, bacon, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt.  Saute for about 1 minute or until you start to smell the garlic.   Stir in the broth and water, then bring to a boil.  Then lower heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Taste and season with more salt and red pepper flakes as needed.   Stir in cream and warm through for about 3-5 minutes.   If you have a hand blender, I highly recommend you use it to thicken the soup.  Otherwise you can use a Cuisinart and just add about 2 cups of the soup and blend.  Stir back into the pot with the remaining soup.  Serves about 5 healthy portions. 

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